Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Show: 29.12.13

It was great to be back in the studios of Cambridge 105 for the final show of 2013. There are some favourites from the last year, some new music and spoken word from local poets and Raymond Antrobus plus a look ahead to a great music-spoken word event coming up in Cambridge next month.

Aidan Smith - Joni
Kimberley Rew - All I Want Is You For Christmas
Peel Carol Concert 1970 - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Robyn Hitchcock - Fix You
Melt-Banana - Lie Lied Lies
Pete Um - DVLA
The Handsome Family - Gulls
Hannah Floyd and Alex - Poetry at Romsey Poets
Ian Fisher and The Present - Regret
Holograms - Meditations
Raymond Antrobus - The Town in This Dream
Teho Teardo & Blixa Bargeld - Nur zur Erinmerung
Sound Menagerie - Find The Line
Hella Better Dancer - Sleeptalking
Bemba Trio - Melô Do Vatapá
Jet Jaguar - Rollige 2013
808 State - Atlas 7
Dementa - Dementia

Monday, December 23, 2013

Headsound: Antonymes - Snow on Snow

Amongst the slew of charity records released at this time of year, one that is worth six of your hard-earned pounds and a couple of hours listening time is Touched - a compilation of electronic music released in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. It contains a staggering 123 tracks by artists including 808 State, Future Sound of London and recent Headsound pick Jet Jaguar. I haven't listened to half the tracks yet but here's a nice ambient piece with a festive touch from Antonymes.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Show: 16.12.13. with Michael James Parker

It's been a while since I got round to doing a show but here's an episode featuring Brighton performance poet Michael James Parker.

Tune in on 29th December when I'll be back on Cambridge 105.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Headsound: Jet Jaguar - Five Production Mistakes Even Professionals Keep Making (They're Not What You Think)

Five Production Mistakes is the final EP in a series of 6 released in the last year by the very productive New Zealand musician/producer Jet Jaguar. Featuring spaced-out disco, warped easy listening and glitchy beats gently dissolve and reform in five multi-flavoured compositions.
Jet Jaguar aka Michael Upton is half of another Headstand favourite Malty Media.

Looking forward to more like this in 2014.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Headsound: Sivu - I Hold featuring Marika Hackman

This simple, enchanting duet by Sivu and Marika Hackman is one of three tracks available free from Sivu's website. Sivu and Marika Hackman are currently on tour and play The Hope in Brighton on December 10th and The Portland in Cambridge on December 12th.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hammer & Tongue Slam Final with Simon Munnery - 5th December

This Thursday I have the honour of competing in the Brighton Hammer and Tongue poetry slam final at Komedia. The honour is further enriched by the inclusion Simon Munnery as the headline act making the £5 admission an absolute steal. You can get all the details here.

Here's an article I wrote last time Simon Munnery did Hammer and Tongue which gives an idea of what to expect both from Simon and the slam.

(Originally published on localsecrets.com)

The small function room upstairs at The Emperor was packed for Hammer and Tongue: a night of spoken word entertainment featuring a poetry slam, performance poet Cat Brogan and comedian Simon Munnery whose name frequently appears in close proximity to words such as “legend,” “genius,” and “surreal.”
Simon Munnery
Hammer and Tongue started in Oxford and now runs events in five cities. Each event features a slam: a competition in which entrants have 3 minutes to perform a poem. A panel of judges drawn from the audience awards points out of ten. The result is a fast-paced event with high energy and dynamic performances creating a tight bond between poet and audience.

Slams are not as brutal as they sound. Slam etiquette demands respect for performers and newcomers brave enough to step up to the mike are always rewarded with a round of applause and a good score. For the most talented performers the rewards are greater. The national final is highly competitive and winning brings national media exposure, paid gigs and other exciting opportunities.

Hammer and Tongue provides further entertainment and inspiration by featuring established performers at each event. Support act Cat Brogan delivered a polished set combining witty and thought provoking poems on subjects including social prejudices and her Northern Irish upbringing. Her powerful delivery perfectly combined words and performance, the hallmark of a slam champion and worthy of the sellout crowd who had come for the headline act.

"I used to be allowed to stay up to watch this guy on TV,” announced excited compere Alex Iamb as he introduced award-winning comedian Simon Munnery. Taking to the stage strumming a toy guitar he dispensed with the three minute bursts of poetry format and delivered a twenty minute ramble of observational comedy and shaggy dog stories. With material on subjects including killing dogs, Swiss hazard signs, seedy great uncles and rural life it was an unpredictable routine that kept the laughter flowing.
Munnery’s skillful use of language allows him to constantly juggle a diverse range of topics and give stand up comedy a fresh twist. “Anyone from anywhere? Anyone noticed anything?” he inquired, deadpan, early on. “Some of these jokes require background reading,” he remarked after a line about Greek mythological characters Sisyphus and Icarus. Only towards the end of the set did he do any poetry; a chant sarcastically praising a well-known chain of pubs and a surreal and embittered rant on London.

It was a low-key gig for a veteran performer who has many awards, TV and radio series to his credit. His appearance is testament to the outstanding reputation Hammer and Tongue has for organising events which are getting more people to listen to, write, perform and enjoy poetry.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Headsound: Textbeak - EICV7" No. 56

A number of releases from net label everythingischemical.com have featured on Headstand. Electronic, hip-hop, shoegaze, ambient and dream pop collide in exciting and original combinations on their regular releases. Their 56th virtual 7 inch from Textbeak contains deep dark industrial rhythms with cinematic overtones. If you enjoy this take some time to check out their other releases.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Headsound: Guillermo Sexo - Fall Lens

Boston four-piece Guillermo Sexo play psychedelia and indie pop with a rough swagger. A scintillating blend of dirty guitar and clean vocals sifts in mood and texture, "like Sonic Youth on shuffle with the Jesus and Mary Chain," according to the The Boston Globe. 

Fall Lens comes from their latest album Dark Spring which you can listen to here.

Guillermo Sexo- "Fall Lens" from Reuben Bettsak on Vimeo.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Headsound: Junip - Oba, Lá Vem Ela

Jose Gonzalez's band perform Jorge Ben's Oba, Lá Vem Ela with a laid back groove. The track is part of a compilation on Mr Bongo Records - Brazilian Beats 7. It presents a rich diversity of sounds from the country that will be centre stage over the next decade as it hosts the World Cup next year and the Olympics in 2016.

Expect to hear a Brazilian vibe on the show in the coming months.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Show: 10.11.13 RIP Lou Reed

On this show we pay tribute to Lou Reed along with the usual variety of music and spoken word old and new - including Euros Childs who played in Brighton recently. You can read my review on the Argus website.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Hammer and Tongue featuring Stephen Morrison-Burke

The headline act for Hammer and Tongue this month is the 2013 slam champion Stephen Morrison-Burke. He stormed to victory in London after winning the Cambridge heat last year. Now he's on tour to share his powerful work with H&T audiences around the country. To get an idea of what to expect listen to him on this show from earlier last year.

All dates are on www.hammerandtongue.co.uk. The most relevant ones to readers of this blog are 7th November in Brighton and 13th November in Cambridge. Support in Brighton comes from another recent guest on Headstand Tommy Sissons.

Next month it's the Brighton final which I'll be competing in on December 6th.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Headsound: Tom Adams - Migration

Migration is the first track to released from Tom Adams' new EP: In The Constant Noise. Ambient sounds, delicate piano and Tom's tender vocals building to a powerful crescendo create a spectacular cathedral of sound which gently dissolves into a silent void. Impressive results for a late night session with a hand-held recorder.

All the new songs on the EP were recorded this way. Tom explains:

"This brings an intentionally imperfect and intimate feel to each track as every recorded layer features the sounds of birds, wind, rustling leaves and other natural sounds unique to the recording location.
By emphasising and celebrating these imperfections, the EP explores the idea of silence in a world where high levels of background noise are the the norm.
The result is a highly emotional set of new songs that invite you to listen to music and the sounds around you differently. Whilst each new song tells its own story, they are all unified in a melancholic lament for the sounds that have been lost in the constant noise."

Friday, November 1, 2013

Interview: Euros Childs

Headstand favourite Euros Childs plays Brighton this Saturday. The former frontman of Welsh indie band Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, has had a prolific solo career.  Last year’s album Summer Special was nominated for the Welsh Music Prize and he has already released the follow-up Situation Comedy. 

The album was recorded with a band in a live environment. “I've worked this way on quite a few albums,” he says. “It's probably the first album I've made in which all songs are sung from the perspective of different characters.” These include an Avon lady and a singer who realises: “nobody is really listening,” on Holiday From Myself. The album finishes with a 13-minute mostly instrumental piece, Trick of the Mind. “I wanted the album to finish on an unexpected note,” he says.

There was an unexpected note or two at a previous solo gig in Brighton. He recalls: “I played a solo gig with a piano in a church a few years ago. I was in the middle of a song called Poodle Rocking and a piano string snapped and hit a woman sitting in the front row. Luckily she was unharmed.”

He will be playing with a full band on Saturday towards the end of a national tour, then it will be time to take a break and plan the next album.

Euros Childs plays Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, 9-12 Middle Street, Saturday November 2nd, 7pm, Tickets £10. Support: Laura J Martin and The Wellgreen.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Headsound: Kaninchen - Broke Up

Duo Craig Taylor-Broad and Chris Trevena recorded their latest EP in warehouses and public toilets to accent the perfect amount of natural reverb to fit a single vocal part.
The five intertwined tracks blend poetic monologues, movie dialogue with atmospheric instrumental arrangements.
The duo are from Cornwall but their sound draws on Scottish influences Belle and Sebastian, Arab Strap, Mogwai and Boards of Canada.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Rob Auton and Brighton Poetry Society

I'm still getting to know the Brighton spoken word scene but there are a couple events coming up in the next week.

On Saturday there's a chance to witness the surreal humour of yellow loving, blue sky thinking Rob Auton as he performs The Sky Show upstairs at the Three and Ten on Steine Street. It starts at 6pm and tickets are available here.

On Monday Brighton Poetry Society host an open mic event at The Victory Inn, Duke Street from 8pm. Entry by donation. More info here.

If you know of any other music or spoken word events in Brighton that deserve a plug get in touch.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Headsound: Cloneliness - Sights

Osaka based Canadian-French artist and musician Charles-Eric Billard has regularly featured on Headstand since the beginning in various guises. His improvisations on found and homemade instruments intrigue with skewed sounds and mesmerising rhythms.

His latest pieces released under solo monika Cloneliness are smoother and more melodic. Acoustic and electronic elements blend into finely crafted performances though still with a refreshing touch of spontaneity. Enjoy the concise 'Sights' then delve deeper into his recordings on Soundcloud.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Show: 20.10.13 with Tom Sissons

This show features an interview and poetry with Tom Sissons. At 18 this Brighton based poet has already published his first pamphlet, reached the national finals of Hammer and Tongue Poetry Slam and done a national tour with Apples and Snakes.

You can also hear:

The Undertones - Teenage Kicks
Melt-Banana - Infection Defective
Euros Childs - Tête à Tête
Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer - Hail The Chap
Arnaud Rodrigues - Turma Da Poiê
Chris T-T & The Hoodrats - The Bear
Tom Sissons - Poetry
Gran Kino feat Ayanda Nhlangothi, Burni Aman, Manelis, Jitsvinger - Brand New Day
Afrodita Nikolova - Thresholds
The Handsome Family - Owls
Polymath - Vertex
Isolation - Kafuka

Monday, October 14, 2013

Headsound: Euros Childs - Tête à Tête

Barely a week goes by without the energetic former frontman of Gorky's Zygotic Mynci Euros Childs coming out with a new collaboration or solo project. His album Summer Special is nominated for this year's Welsh Music Prize but it's already slipping off the front page of his website The National Elf Library as the releases continue.

His latest solo album Situation Comedy is out on October 21st and this lead track Tête à Tête is classic Childs his melodic pop vocals at the fore and lyrics with characters and cultural references worthy of Dylan. The song is available for download by donation at euroschilds.co.uk.

Childs is on tour in October/November and plays Brighton on November 2nd at Sticky Mike's Frog Bar which sounds like the name of one of his bands.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Headsound: Melt-Banana - The Hive

 Set this week's Headsound as your wake up call for an adrenaline shot to start the day. Avoid it whilst driving especially on Brighton's 20mph zones.

Tokyo's Melt-Banana emerged from the Japanese noise scene in the early 90s with energy and technical prowess propelling them onto the global circuit. Twenty years on they've lost none of their energy. Their first new album in 6 years is a highly refined version of their trademark sound distilled to the core components of guitarist Agata's multi-FX wizardry and Yako's shrill jackhammer vocals.

The Hive explodes with a squall of lightning speed guitar riffs whilst Yako comes in like a sped up J-pop idol. The duo bamboozle the listener making them want to turn backflips and kick a hole in the wall.

This is not just music. It's an experience, a violent sonic massage. The Hive is a wrecking ball of a track from a bulldozer of an album.

Fetch is out now on A-zap records.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Show: 6.10.13

Another selection of music and spoken word including new music from La Femme, Holograms and Dragon Noir and a song from Euros Childs who plays the brilliantly named Sticky Mike's Frog Bar, Brighton on November 2nd.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Steve Hughes: From Motorhead to Motormouth

Metalhead turned standup Steve Hughes gives us a dose of vitriol.

With long hair and dark clothes, and perfectly timed deadpan delivery metal drummer turned standup Steve Hughes is an unusual hybrid.

“Music and comedy are both languages beyond words and culture,” he says. “Music is a wonderful thing which is why it’s so disturbing that Simon Cowell’s in charge.”

Music is a gift from the Gods enabling people who don’t speak the same language to resonate on the same vibrational, emotional and cosmic field. They’ve turned it into Happy Meals!”

He’s glad to be doing comedy now though. “I don’t know why I bothered dragging a drum kit around. Too much of a pain in the arse,” he laughs. Relieved of equipment and band members he’s come a long way in his new career. All the way from Australia to Manchester, in fact. “Australia is so isolated. Nothing ever happens. There’s no one there!” He says of his home country.

He’s enjoying the buzz of the UK’s condensed population and constant gigging has established him on the national circuit. He’s been able to cross pollinate metal and comedy audiences who love his no-holds barred material.

On his current tour ‘While It’s Still Legal’ he’s exercising his right to freedom of speech while he still can. “Comedy that pokes fun at the establishment or is portrayed as controversial or offensive will be outlawed eventually,” he claims.

“Political correctness implies that somehow an ideological structure that protects against you ever being victimised is noble. I see it as a form of subjective fascism.”

Hughes doesn’t set out to offend. He just doesn’t try not to. “How arrogant would it be for me to curtail my material by staring at an audience from behind the curtain and making a subjective judgement about their moral basis?” he argues. “I stand in front of the general public most of the year and they’re enjoying it” he insists.

He extends the rant with an attack on what he calls ‘global colonialism.’ “David Cameron says, ‘I want to export gay marriage to the world.’ It’s none of your business if the Middle East have gay marriage, or Jamaica. Your country’s not perfect either.” He considers Stephen Fry’s campaign to get the Winter Olympics banned in Sochi well-meaning but hypocritical. “They had the Olympics in The UK and they illegally went to war in the Middle East. They had them in Australia and they’re one of the most racist countries to their indigenous people on Earth.”

He admits his material is not to everyone’s liking, just as not everyone likes Country music. “I tell audiences, ‘don’t boo or jeer people who leave. They’ve got their own beliefs and ideologies.”

But with several sellout shows on the tour already he must be doing something right. Whether you agree with what Hughes says or not he certainly makes an impact.

Steve Hughes is appearing at Brighton Dome Corn Exchange on October 19th.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Headsound: Chris T-T and The Hoodrats - The Bear

Brighton singer-songwriter Chris T-T returns with new album The Bear out 7th October. The title track is an anarchic anthem which manages to reference Joan Rivers and Louis CK and Lenny Henry in his lead role in 90s sitcom Chef.
It has the bite and intellect of The Pixies and the humour of Half Man Half Biscuit.
He's on tour absolutely everywhere in the UK from October - December.

Headsounds are weekly recommended music and spoken word tracks. If you'd like to nominate a future Headsound get in touch with a link to a video or embeddable player (eg. Bandcamp) and 50 - 100 words on why you recommend it.

Tour dates

10 Aberdeen Lemon Tree
11 Ullapool The Arch Inn
12 Inverness Ironworks
13 Glasgow Oran Mor
15 Brighton Komedia
16 London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire
17 Gloucester Blackfriars Priory
18 Cardiff The Globe
20 Leicester The Musician
21 Bromsgrove Artrix
22 Oxford St John's Church
23 Bury St Edmunds The Apex
25 Norwich Open
7 Manchester St Philips Church, Salford
8 Kendal Brewery Arts Centre
9 Newcastle Cluny
10 Leeds Brudenell Social Club
11 Cambridge Junction
13 Winchester Discovery Centre
14 Exeter Phoenix
16 Hastings St Marys In The Castle
17 Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
19 Birmingham Glee Club
20 Sheffield Greystones
21 New Brighton Floral Pavilion
22 Bristol Folk House
24 Cardiff Moon Club
28 Ipswich Town Hall
29 York The Black Swan
30 London Bush Hall Supporting Jim Bob (Carter Usm)
5 Manchester Kraak Gallery
6 Leeds All Hallows Church
7 Durham Old Cinema Launderette
8 – 11 Scottish Tour, Dates Tba
13 Bexhill Eras Of Style
14 Margatetom Thumb Theatre
15 Milton Keynes Watershed Arts
18 London The Monarch
19 Brighton Venue Tba
20 Devizes The Lamb

Sunday, September 29, 2013

6 years of Headstand

Headstand has been going for 6 years now. Here's a recording of a performance I did with Tom Adams at the fifth anniversary celebrations last year. I got to hear Tom Adams playing exactly one year on in the basement of CB1. Performing solo he combined live and electronic instruments with his powerful singing voice in a set of new material. He is working on a new recording to which the words 'eagerly anticipated' can be readily applied. You can hear more Headstand related recordings at headstand.podomatic.com.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Poetry in Brighton

Ross Sutherland
I've been in Brighton nearly three weeks now but I've yet to properly discover the poetry scene here. So I'm looking forward to going to Redroaster coffee house tomorrow evening (September 26th) for a reading by Brendan Cleary who's launching his new collection on local press Pighog who are hosting the night. You can find out more about the event here.

Next week Hammer and Tongue starts a new season at Komedia on October 3rd. I have interviewed headliner Ross Sutherland and it's due to appear in The Argus this Friday. I look forward to meeting him again and hearing about his recent visit to a network of secret tunnels under Disney Land, Florida (seriously!) and seeing his latest show Stand By For Tape Backup. Find details here and come to enjoy some top quality performance poetry and maybe compete in the slam. I know I'm going to.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

1st Show from Brighton

This first show from Brighton includes Ross Sutherland and Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip who are both playing the city this month along with the usual random mix of music and spoken word.

If you're a musician or spoken word artist and you'd like to be featured on the show please email info@patrickwiddess.co.uk or tweet @headstand. I'd particularly like to hear from Brighton based acts.

Fat Boy Slim - Right here, Right now
Tom Adams and Dan Jeffries - Iceland Song
クリームチーズオブサン(Cream Cheese of Sun) -リバーシ (Reverse)
Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip - Stunner
Ross Sutherland - Three Minor Compaints
Mega Emotion - Brains
PJ Harvey - The Whores Hustle And The Hustlers Whore
Alfred Noyes - The Highwayman
Franka De Mille - Come On
David Francis - The Girl Got On
Pulp - I Spy
Musicforvoyeurs - Colliding Lovers
Luo - Imprints

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Show: Rychard Carrington and Romsey Poets

Headstand may have finished on Cambridge 105 but I'm still broadcasting from Brighton. This show features recordings from last month's Romsey Poets night including Rychard Carrington's headline performance. Tune in for poppadoms, Welsh Haiku, TS Eliot and more.

The event was organised by Alex Blustin. If you're in Cambridge on a Thursday do visit his poetry stall in the market.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Show: 25.8.13 with Afrodita Nikolova

On the last show on Cambridge 105 for the time being I was joined by Macedonian poet Afrodita Nikolova who read one of her poems and the winning entries of a poetry competition I judged for Macedonian magazine Sh.

Here is the winning entry:

The Archive

Old ambered men,
rotting in vanilla,
are bound together
and numbered
in open coffins.
And a mist of dust
protrudes through
their wooden prison;
conspiring with the
ever tempting dark
shining from above.
White paper roses bud
below ladders that end
where shadows begin;
there silk webs spread
over this waste of heads
that thrust upwards
towards the bars.

Dushko Talevski

Congratulations also to runners up Sara Jovanovska and Zorica Petkoska.


Blur - Sunday, Sunday
Peter Galub - Reacquaintance
Rob Auton - Rollerball
Alba Asensi - Dragons
Hella Better Dancer - Sleep
Bernard and Edith - Dagger
Moth Conspiracy - Hands and Feet
Jacqui and Geoff  - Unlucky Charm
Magic Arm - Is History
Romanian Village Musicians - Batuta Lui Oprica
Robert Frost - Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening
Malty Media - Good Night Kiwi (Beyond The Infinite Mix)
Daft Punk - Verdis Quo

Thursday, August 22, 2013

In Photos: Shindig closes the Romsey Art Festival

Shindig brought the first Romsey Art Festival to a dramatic close last Saturday with music, dance, film and spoken word along with Katy Mcdonald's installation ‘Light Up Your Dreams.' The paper lanterns that decorated the dimly lit church were all made by local workshop participants truly capturing the festival's theme of community. You can read my review on Local Secrets here.
The next Shindig featuring Ghost Outfit, Bernard and Edith and Holden Girls is on September 14th. Details here.

Light Up Your Dreams

Toby Peters and Diane Morrison

Gaze is Ghost

Filipa Pereira Stubbs

Filipa Pereira Stubbs and Toby Peters

Diane Morrison

‘Light Up Your Dreams.'
‘Light Up Your Dreams.'
‘Light Up Your Dreams.'
‘Light Up Your Dreams.'
‘Light Up Your Dreams.'
‘Light Up Your Dreams.'
‘Light Up Your Dreams.'
‘Light Up Your Dreams.'

Monday, August 12, 2013

Show: 11.08.13 with Ian Patterson

This show features poetry from Cambridge poet Ian Patterson reading at CB1 cafe as part of Romsey Art Festival and a varied selection of songs and spoken word old and new.
Don't miss Shindig this Saturday where you can hear Gaze Is Ghost featured on this show along with other artists and musicians.

Doves - Sea Songs
The Love Language - Kids
The Handsome Family - Lizard
Aphrodita Nikolova - A pack of Cigarettes
Gaze is Ghost - Magnus
Ian Patterson - At Romsey Poets
Rue Royale - Crater
Rebecca Clamp - Ghostly Tram Song
Golden Suits - Swimming in ’99
Ivor Cutler - Alone
Six by Seven - More
Walter De La Mare - Nod
Nick Mulvey - House of Saint Give Me
Montano - Undertones (Tim Koch’s Blundertones mix)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Poem: Unhinge - Afrodita Nikolova

Macedonian poet Afrodita Nikolova has became a distinct voice on the Cambridge poetry scene since coming here to study. Here is one of her poems, and you can hear more on the next show this Sunday.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Show: 28.7.13 with Stephen Morrison-Burke

This show features poetry by Hammer and Tongue Poetry Slam Champion Stephen Morrison-Burke recorded in Cambridge at Allographic: Other Voices. There is also a poem from H&T founder Steve Larkin along with a variety of music and news of The Romsey Art Festival.

The Fall - The League of Bald-Headed Men
The Doozer - Fen Drayton
Teho Teardo & Blixa Bargeld - Still Smiling
August and After - Set Sail
The Hogweed And The Aderyn - The Pariah
Steve Larkin - London Eye
Stephen Morrison-Burke - Poetry
Halo Halo - Sunshine Kim
Blue Sausage Infant - What The Parrot Saw
Ross Sutherland - Autopsy
maD and Alg0rh1tm - MaD - Nanits
Hyelim Kim - Scattering Rhythms

Monday, July 29, 2013

Romsey Art Festival

Get ready for two weeks of art, music, workshops and exhibitions as the first Romsey Art Festival launches this Saturday. Check out the packed programme of events, many of them free on the festival blog: romseyartfestival2013.blogspot.co.uk. There are a couple of Headstand related events happening this Saturday.

Creative Writing Workshop with Patrick Widdess

Join Patrick Widdess for a workshop that will encourage participants to look at the world around them in new and creative ways.

There will be a series of writing exercises to get the creative juices flowing and participants will have time to explore the surrounding area and work on their own writing.

The workshop is being held from 2-5pm at The Bath House on Gwydir Street. Email info@patrickwiddess.co.uk to book your free place. Advance booking is recommended and places are limited.

Adventures in language, art and performance poetry featuring Rychard Carrington and Ian Patterson, hosted by Patrick Widdess.

A number of short Open Mic slots will be available. Book in advance to guarantee a place: alexanderblustin@gmail.com.

For those wishing to delve further into the world of the Cambridge avant-garde, there will be a bookstall showcasing vital and challenging new work from local poets and publishers.

Admission: £3/£2 concessions

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Time Passes... A Time Lapse Tour of Cambridge

Take a 4 minute tour of Cambridge with this time lapse video by Marc Abraham. If you've been in Cambridge for any time you're sure to have come across this denim clad one-man camera crew and production outfit. Wherever there's a party, protest, community event or avant-garde concert in Cambridge you can be sure to find Marc there with his camera.
This film starts at The Gwydir Street Party blends seamlessly into The Big Weekend, takes in various other locations before a high velocity trip down Mill Road, the cultural heart of the city. All this is accompanied by a catchy soundtrack also composed by Marc.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Poem: Stars and Strings by Stephen Morrison-Burke

This Sunday's show features a set by Hammer and Tongue national slam champion Stephen Morrison-Burke. Here's one of the poems that won him the title broadcast on an earlier show.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Photos: Shindig with Wooden Arms // August & After and Milly Hirst

Wesley Freeman-Smith seems to know endless exquisite singers and acoustic groups. This month's Shindig once again at St Philips featured the angelic sounding Milly Hirst, finely crafted acoustic folk from August and After and a stirring performance by Wooden Arms joined by Milly Hirst.
As usual it wasn't just a gig with three acts. There were visuals accompanying the music and spoken word in between. There was also an unexpected appearance from a gorilla in a dress!

 Milly Hirst
 August and After

 Gorilla artwork!
Wooden Arms

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Show: 14.7.13 with Richard Harding and Jessica Leach

I'm joined by Richard Harding and Jessica Leach who play some of their disco music and read work produced at their regular object writing workshop. Find out more at freakaholicproductions.blogspot.co.uk.

Peter King - Jo Jolo
The Breaches - Once More into the Breaches, Dear Friend
The Dead Kennedys - Holiday in Cambodia
Fuzzy Lights - Rituals
Wooden Arms - Chariclea
Dent May - Don’t Wait
Richard Harding and Jessica Leach - Thorough Lover
Richard Harding and Jessica Leach - Bored By My Desire
Ross Sutherland - Ox
Jet Jaguar - Agave Fox (feat. Jeremy Hunter)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Shindig this Saturday with Wooden Arms // August & After and Milly Hirst

Shindig returns to St Philips on Mill Road this Saturday with art and music from Norwich and Cambridge. Details below and on Facebook.

Clandestine, candle-lit adventures with some of Norwich's finest, augmented with the fabulous ex-Cambridge duo August & After. Expect an intimate show of beautifully acoustic indie-folk in a stunning setting.

Performances will be forthcoming from the following...


// Wooden Arms - https://soundcloud.com/woodenarmsband

Sound reverbated through bone to flesh; a clattering composition of cacophony; frequencies expelled via the instrument and voice to form music.


// August & After - http://www.augustandafter.co.uk/

Abundant vocal harmonies and narrative lyricism, spilt onto a bed of gentle, intricate guitars and classically-inspired orchestration. Additional strings adorn their live performances to recreate the tones of their home recordings. You can hear one of their songs on the latest show.


// Milly Hirst - http://millyhirst.co.uk/

A prominent figure in the thriving and Norwich folk scene, Milly's music has enchanted wherever she has plied her trade. A voice that can transform a drunken audience into an attentive one.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Catch Luke Wright's new show at the Junction this Saturday

Performance poet Luke Wright brings his new show Essex Lion to The Junction on Saturday.
Inspired by the Essex lion which campers near Clacton claimed they saw last year the show is full of romping satirical verses about people seeing what they want to see. Here are posh plumbers, fallen boozers, Lovejoy, belly-laughs and dewy-eyes.

The show is part of The Hotbed Festival - a full weekend of plays show and workshops. Tickets full all events are on sale now from The Junction.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Show: 30.6.13

A mix of music and spoken word old and new including Gaze is Ghost who starred at the last Shindig and August and After who will be at the next one.

Beck - Where it’s At
Demis Couscous - Rough on Rats (Beck cover)
Public Enemy - Get Up Stand Up
Raymond Antrobus - Conversation with Grandma
Teho Teardo and Blixa Bargeld - Come Up and See Me
Darren Hayman - I Live Not Where I Love
Gaze is Ghost - Grounding Exercise No. 1
August and After - Waltz for Marie
Half Man Half Biscuit - The Coroner’s Footnote
Ivor Cutler - Baked Beetles
Six By Seven - The Rise And Fall And Decline Of Everything
The Love Language - Hi Life
Phil Odgers - Through the Morning, Through The Night
Leftfield - Original

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Shindig with Clorinde, Gaze is Ghost and Fake Maria

It's common to be bombarded with literature when you go to gigs. I went to shows in Japan where I was handed a sheath of posters and flyers as thick as a Sunday paper on my way in and an equally hefty load on my way out. The only thing handed me as I left Shindig at St Philips on Mill Road was a handwritten copy of Return From A Walk by Frederico Garcia Lorca. A flyer for the next event wouldn't have hurt as this one could not have been more moving and memorable.
As usual visitors were struck by the unique atmosphere as soon as they walked through the door. A candlelit stall sold refreshments from CB1 Cafe. Another table was decorated with lights and assorted trinkets and other pictures and candles were to be found dotted around the venue. Members of the audience were encouraged to write messages on post-it notes and stick them up around the venue.
Compere Fay Roberts opened proceedings with a poem and introduced first act, Fake Maria. The duo of Hayley Foster and Matt Bothwell were an instant hit when they started playing at Allographic - Matt playing guitar and Hayley reading poems. At this, one of their first official shows they used keyboard in addition to guitar filling the room with beautiful melodies and words.
They were followed by Gaze is Ghost, singer-songwriter Laura McGarrigle. She was accompanied at short notice by a guitarist whose name I didn't catch and Fay who added percussion and backing vocals to Laura's exquisite and tender vocals and piano.
Finally Clorinde made a welcome return to the venue. The mainly Italian, London based instrumental group played interpretations of famous poems. The band performed on multiple instruments as a videos played along with recordings of works including Blake, Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson and Charles Bukowski.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Show: 16.6.13 with Fake Maria

My guests on this show Fake Maria are playing 2 shows next weekend. On Saturday 22nd they are playing Shindig on Mill Road with Clorinde and Gaze Is Ghost and in Sunday they are at Allographic: Other Voices with Hollie McNish. You can hear pieces from all those other acts along with their live session in this special 2-hour show.


Magazine - Shot From Both Sides
Darren Hayman - Seven Months Married
Hollie McNish - Mathematics
Fake Maria - in Session
Gaze is Ghost - Cloud Hidden
Stephen Morrison-Burke - Strings and Stars
Half Man Half Biscuit - Running Order Squabble Fest
Fake Maria in Session
Marnie Stern - The Chronicles of Marnia
Nick Mulvey - River Lea
Hyelim Kim - Pochagi
Fake Maria in Session
Clorinde - Pollen
Orbit over Luna - Asahi
Jet Jaguar - Poster Child
Raymond Antobus - The Town in This Dream
Teho Teardo & Blixa Bargeld - A quiet life
The Breaches - So Tell Me What Is Left
Six By Seven - Fall Into Your Arms
The Love Language - Calm Down
Tim Clare - Pub Stuntman
The Rolling Stones - Doom and Gloom
The Handsome Family - Woodpecker
I am a Man With a St Tropez Tan - There is No Death
Zombi - Shrunken Heads
Halo Halo - Is It Shiny
Memoryloop - Saturate
Lubomyr Melnyk - The Six Day Moment

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Fake Maria

On the next show this Sunday I'll be joined by Fake Maria - a new local acoustic guitar spoken word duo. They will also be playing at Shindig on June 22nd at St Philips on Mill Road.

Check out their song Respect you elders and tune in for the session on Sunday.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Hammer and Tongue with Ray Antrobus & Charlotte Higgins

This Wednesday get down to the Fountain for the last round of the Hammer and Tongue Poetry Slam 2012/13. It's your last chance to qualify for a place in the regional final to be held in September. It's also an opportunity for poets and poetry lovers to check out two great headline acts.

Headliner Ray Antrobus was in top form at the national finals last weekend. His efforts got Hackney second place in the team slam pushing Cambridge into third. He's a seasoned writer and performer. See his website for more info: www.raymondantrobus.com.

He will be supported by Charlotte Higgins who won the Strawberry Fair youth slam - the latest in an impressive list of awards and accolades.

For tickets and more info see the Facebook page


Monday, June 3, 2013

Spoken Word At Strawberry Fair

Strawberry Fair returned to Midsummer Common for a day of free music entertainment and rogue aliens. Things got off to a great start on The Mad Hatters Stage with Cambridge's top spoken word acts. Members of Flack got things started with music and spoken word including a performance by Glen Hutchinson and Toby Peters perfectly blending music and poetry.

At 1pm Allographic's Fay Roberts took to the stage to introduce a terrific lineup of poets. J.S. Watts started with a set including poems from her pamphlet Steel Yard Sue. She was followed by two brilliant young performance poets Riaz Moola who you can hear on the latest show, and Nikki Marrone. Fenland poet laureates past and present followed: Leanne Moden with an entertaining set as always including a poem about a lover of biscuits and then her predecessor Elaine Ewart had some wonderful nature poems.

Rychard Carrington made a welcome appearance following a memorable set at Hammer and Tongue a couple of months ago. An unpredictable five minutes included silence, poppadoms and Mad Axe Magruder! Hayley Foster, one half of musical-spoken-word duo Fake Maria followed before I had the pleasure of reading a few poems to the sizable audience that had grown over the last hour.
Making the link from music to spoken word were duo the Antipoet. I've seen them many times and their jazzy double bass grooves and sharp-witted poems never fail to entertain.

Nearly two hours of quality entertainment and I'd only been to one stage. I went off to explore the other attractions of the day. In doing so I forgot all about the other big spoken word event, the Strawberry Fair Youth Slam. I missed out by all accounts. You can read Leanne Moden's report here.
It was great to see so many people enjoying spoken word at the fair. Hopefully there will be even more on the programme next year.

Show: 2.6.13 with Riaz Moola

Javelin - The Marimba Song
Nick Mulvey - Fever to The Form
Riaz Moola - Poetry
The Breaches - She Says
Ray Antrobus - My Hunger!
Fuzzy Lights - The Hour
Riaz Moola - Poetry
The Handsome Family - Eels
Hefner - I took Her Love For Granted
Hour Hands - Door Without Hinges
Riaz Moola - Poetry
The Beguilers - The Little Boy Lost
Jet Jaguar - Re-De-Beso
Sunwolf - Breach

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Poem: Ex's Facebook - Riaz Moola

Next Sunday I'm joined by poet Riaz Moola who has been making an impact on the local scene recently including winning a place in the final of the Cambridge Hammer and Tongue poetry slam. Check out one of his poems below and tune in on Sunday.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Poetry This Weekend

Cambridge's maverick poet and electronic musician Pete Um is performing a free gig tonight at The Gatehouse, 23-25 Gwydir Street at 8pm. It's right next to Cambridge 105. Pete has been described as:

'Lo-fi electronic songs, neurotic and quixotic charity-shop funk, highly personal stereo.'


'like a one-man boombox version of The Residents ... like a quiet idea-storm: a procession of thoughts, camera-angles, memories, rambles, rumbles, micro-anthems, marching songs, drinking games, broken raps, Pop-monologues, miniatures, chamberwerks, salon songs, an orchestra of shed.' kidshirt.blogspot.com


 The event is supported by Bad Timing DJs. Bring a battery powered FM radio to participate. Details here.

Allographic: Other Voices returns to the Fountain on Sunday with Martin Figura and Justina Kehinde plus open mic. In the afternoon there's a poetry workshop with Andrea Porter.

Finally looking ahead to next week Ross Sutherland is reading at the last CB1 Poetry of the season on Tuesday 28th. Excellent!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Wisbech and Fenland Museum Writing and Art Competition

As mentioned on the last show here are details of the competition being run by The Wisbech and Fenland Museum. For more information see http://tenyearstime.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/news-young-peoples-museum-booklet.html.

Leanne Moden writes: "Myself and local artist Karen Harvey are working with the Wisbech Young Curators' Forum to put together a booklet of creative work to celebrate the fantastic collections at the Wisbech and Fenland Museum.
We're currently looking for examples of fantastic writing and artwork, inspired by the collections at the museum and we'd love to invite writers and artists to consider submitting their short stories, poems and drawings to the competition.
The competition itself is open to writers of all ages, and we have three age categories: Under 11s, 12-17s and 18+. The winning entries will be published in a special limited edition booklet which will be available at the Wisbech and Fenland Museum for local people and visitors alike to enjoy. It's a great opportunity for the kids to have their work published and there are so many amazing objects in the museum to spark their imagination!
To enter the competition we ask that participants send their submissions to info@karen-harvey.co.uk along with their name, contact telephone number and a short description of the museum piece from which they took inspiration. Alternatively they can fill out an entry form and post back to the Wisbech and Fenland Museum, Museum Square Wisbech Cambridgeshire PE13 1ES.
The closing date for submissions is Friday 31st May 2013. If you're not able to make it to the Wisbech and Fenland Museum to view the collection in person we're happy to receive pieces on the theme of Museums as creative spaces"

Show: 19.5.13 with Mark Niel

This show opens with guests from the last show The Breaches and features poetry by Mark Niel from Milton Keynes - www.akickinthearts.co.uk

The Breaches - Vodka Jelly
Savages - City’s Full
Hour Hands - Design The Colours
The Handsome Family - Flies
Oh Standfast - footsteps
Tim Clare - The Girl From Donkey Kong
Mark Niel - Poetry
Teen - Paradise
Shawn Waters - Get on Home Mama
Tom Adams - A Sudden Break in the Clouds
Steve Moore - Light Echoes 1

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Poem: Stealing sweets from Jesus by Mark Niel

The show this Sunday features a set from Milton Keynes poet Mark Niel recorded at The Fountain earlier this year. He shares some poems and talks about how he came to be a full-time performance poet. Here's a new poem from his website blog: www.pawhouseboy.blogspot.co.uk. Also check out his website: www.akickinthearts.co.uk

Stealing sweets from Jesus

Was this my first sin
or the green shoots of entrepreneurship,
and is there a difference?

I still claim God is somewhat culpable:
of all the places in all the world
to site a sweet shop next to a church.

So here’s the scam in easy steps,
(for storytelling purposes and not to
encourage a new generation of Fagin’s friends).

1. Spend all your pocket money
except for two shiny new pence
and take this gleaming conspirator to church.

2. When it’s time for the collection
ask Mum with innocent puppy eyes,
“Pennies for the plate”?

3. Mum, panicked, would rummage for silver.
Usually ten, sometimes fifty pence.

4. Use your best Penn and Teller
French Drop to substitute copper for silver
making the result. Jesus 2, you 48.

5. As soon as the last Amen sounds
slip silently from the blessed hubbub,
check for a tail, meet your dealer at the shop.

6. Launder the cash for kola kubes,
midget gems and only on cooler days,
curly wurlys.

7. Repeat
as often as you can
without arousing suspicion.

These are the seven steps from heaven,
forgotten for many years until
the new, old sweetie shop opened on the High Street.

Fifty pence doesn’t even buy a quarter now,
but the sugar-laden oxygen
takes you on a journey money can’t buy. 

To when Mum was close by and
there was no greater feeling than the
rumpled, paper twist of sweets in your pocket.